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Total Film

December 2010

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Director Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez
Starring Rose McGowan, Freddy Rodriguez, Kurt Russell, Rosario Dawson
Cert 18

Film *** Extras ****

After being ripped asunder for its UK theatrical run and kept apart for various home-ents releases, Grindhouse arrives belatedly in a Blu-ray the way its makers Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez intended: as a grimy, cheap-thrill double-bill with accompanying trash trailers, tacky ads and junky in-theatre announcements.

You can argue how authentically grindhouse Rodriguez’s Planet Terror and Tarantino’s Death Proof really are. For all their scratchy, missing-reel reverence and lurid stories, the former relies heavily on greenscreen for its gleeful if meandering spin on zombie invasion, while the latter swamps its badass babes and misogynistic road demon with reams of energy-sapping jabber. Cut to the car chase, QT – but when he does, it’s a virtuoso battle-of-the- sexes road duel that’s as “motherfuckin’ fantastic” as he always promised.

So the films have their pleasures and pains, but the sham trailers by Rob Zombie, Edgar Wright, Eli Roth and Rodriguez are all mini-gems in their own right, nailing the grubby exploitation vibe with aplomb. They also spawn the bulk of new extras (joining a raft imported from DVD), while other fresh meat includes an hour-long directors’ stage chat. Finally, try this for a drinking game: listen to Rodriguez’s Planet Terror chat-track, knock back a tequila shot every time he mentions John Carpenter. You’ll be blotto long before Rose McGowan gets fitted with her machine-gun leg.

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